Leviathan - Czernobog
Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

Leviathan - CzernobogLeviathan - Czernobog
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Russian Imperial Stout
Ranked #549
Ranked #7,377
4.02 | pDev: 11.19%
Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
Massachusetts, United States
Leviathan - CzernobogLeviathan - Czernobog
Reviews: 40 | Ratings: 148 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of chinchill
3.89/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A 22 oz 2014 bottle poured into a Porter Bar goblet. It pours with a dark, opaque, near black body that has thin dark ruby edges and a short tan head.

Aroma - Fruity, with notes of dates, figs and plums, Dark roast malts with little alcohol in the nose.

Flavor: Rich, strong and boozy. Dark fruits, hints of coffee; light burnt grains and smoke. Sweet up front but turns mildly bitter by the time the aftertaste starts to fade.

Feel - Full bodied, rich in velvet texture; Lightly hot in the mouth and quite warming upon swallowing.

O - A rich RIS; with about 2 years of aging, the boozy element is well hidden in the aroma but not the taste.

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Photo of BeerAndGasMasks
4.16/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

From the bottle, it pours a very dark brown, even black, with a brown head, which lasts. Roasted malt, cocoa and coffee in the nose. Taste follows the nose, Yum!

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Photo of barczar
4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

2012 vintage, so score set to current average.

Cocoa dominates the aroma, fairly sweet, with hints of dark cherries, tar, and roast malt adding complexity.

Flavor is cocoa dominant, fairly sweet, becoming roasty with a hint of sharp dark fruit initially. Fades to roast and toasted, nutty malt at the finish. Notes of dark cherry become more pronounced as it warms, but the cocoa still dominates and lingers. Good stuff! Would give it a similar score. Could easily age longer.

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Photo of ksimons
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-almost black in color with two fingers worth of dark tan head

S-roasted malt, dark chocolate, coffee, molasses, and some dark fruits

T-taste is similar to the smell with dark roasted malts, dark coffee, chocolate, and light dark fruits

M-medium to full body, moderate carbonation

Overall a nice roasted RIS with good chocolate sweetness, pretty enjoyable

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
2.99/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

On tap at the Old Toad in Rochester, NY.

This one pours a dark black, with a small head, and a little bit of a lacing.

Smells like booze, bourbon, chocolate, and dark fruits.

This has a weirdly strong bourbony flavor to it, even though it's not barrel-aged.I could just be mistaking bourbon flavor for boozy flavor, who knows. There is some chocolate, and dark fruits, but this just feels mostly like a thin boozy stout with not much to offer, unfortunately. Not all that impressed here.

This is kind of thin bodied, with a lower level of carbonation. I wish it was way creamier, honestly.

This feels a bit too boozy with not a whole lot else going on.

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Photo of dpgoblejr
4.92/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

2015 stamped on the bottle; other than that no dating. Super dark brown almost black pour with quite a thick, frothy khaki colored head despite care in pouring into a Smuttynose snifter. Mahogany aura along the edge with small carbonation bubbles. Aroma is of roasted malts and chocolate but rather subdued. Flavor is of chocolate, tar, ash, molasses, and coffee. Medium to full bodied and pretty thick but more of a creamy feel on the palate. Czernobog was a gamble when I found it but I was overly surprised by this RIS and it was better than expected. Well done!

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Photo of jp32
4.08/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black in color with minimal head retention.

Aroma is roasted, malty, and somewhat sweet.

Flavor is roasted, malty, and somewhat dry. Pretty spot-on for the style, without any bells and whistles.

A nice, solid, good russian imperial stout.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.99/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From the 650 ml. bottle. Sampled on Nov 27, 2015.

It pours dark brown to near black with a modest tam head.

The aroma is basically sweet with a good character of caramel malts in there.

Medium smooth body.

Notable caramel malt sweetness in the taste but also a cellar-aged mustiness in this. Seems like it has been around and I enjoy that.

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Photo of tekstr1der
4.28/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Quite black pour with very little brown head. Aroma is mostly roast malt with a faint smokiness. Flavors are of cocoa with a mild sweetness, very roasty, and slight hint of ripe fruit. Very balanced and clean finish make this super drinkable for the style. Alcohol is well-hidden.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.99/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I tried this on tap poured chilled into a glass.

The color is a very dark brown with rich looking full malty liquid and thin khaki head with fine bead. The smell is a very woody and aromatic malty smell with some sweet aromas and gentle alcohol in the nose. The feel is more sweet than bitter with malt in the feel and a roasted texture with moderate alcohol in the back.

The taste is good with the roasted barley noticeable in the initial taste with slight toast and woody presence with a slightly sweet caramel and toffee-like flavor mid palate the finish is still sweet with the maple evident and a mild alcohol taste as it finishes on the sweet side. This was a very interesting stout - not a cookie cutter version of other barrel aged stouts it stands out with unique flavor that I would describe as caramel dominant

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.63/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Brief write-up. The aroma doesn't blow me away, as it's muddled in its roast and chocolate notes. It tastes a bit more defined, and actually has some solid depth. I get chocolate, roast, licorice, dark fruit, smoke, and char. While it has a light mouthfeel, it's pretty easy to drink for the style - I do like how dry it is in spite of the 10%. Not a world-beating RIS, but I really enjoy it regardless.

3.63/5: Standard imperial stout, but done the way I like the style to be made

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Photo of Bisco42
4.21/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I thought this RIS was absolutely delicious. Served at room temperature, and into a Tulip. Two finger head that did not quit, remained for longer than most. Thick and nearly creamy in MF. Had all the delicious qualities that I was looking for and hid the high abv incredibly well. Reminded me a lot of Lagunitas' RIS.
This beer would be outstanding if it were to have cocoa and/or coffee added. Awesome for the price point too!!

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Photo of SABERG
4.06/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 2014 bottle poured into the modified tulip glass.
A - Dark as Rothko, agitated head reveals mocha froth, carbonation is deliberate and determined to support
the cap.
S - Dark roast malts. cocoa, fig and plum, add an intriguing element. No alcohol in the nose. Rich chocolate, spiced mocha, smoked meat, and raspberry, a wonderful rich flavor profile
M - Full bodied, rich in velvet texture, the finest part of the offering is the feel.
O - A fine RIS this has almost 2 years on it, the boozy element is hidden well.

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Photo of smcolw
3.81/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Two-finger, beige head. Deep, dark brown color--no light passes, even on the edges. Good starting head, but it settles to rim bubbles. They do not leave much lace--a couple of streaks.

Burnt grain and alcohol are the main aromas from this beer. A bit of chalk and chocolate.

The flavor profile begins with the black patent malt up front. Think burnt toast. There's no creaminess to this beer--just pure coffee and Baker's chocolate. The body is thin like many in this style. The carbonation is high.

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Photo of Abra
3.21/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Pours jet black with a mocha head.
Aroma is very interesting...initially quite sweet with molasses, candied fruit, dark chocolate, a little toasted caramel.

Taste definitely incorporates the sweet molasses flavor, but the bitterness overwhelms it rather than evening it out and it didn't add any complexity to it other than being overtly bitter. Mouthfeel was very light and watery, which I expected a heavier stout like creaminess.

The reviews on this are very good, so it's quite possible I came across a bad bottle.
The aroma was excellent, but past that, I couldn't finish the glass. It didn't blend well at all for me.

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Photo of 51mmz0rz
4.29/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a 0.5L Duvel Tulip

A: Dense light brown head. Opaque body. Head fades fairly quickly.

S: Dark rich aromas, roasty, boozy, slight black olive.

T: Rich chocolate roast, fairly low bitterness, slightly sweet. Very well made.

M: Nice and dry, not overly filling.

D: A very well made stout, conplex and full of flavor. Would drink again.

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Photo of scottbrew4u
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a 2012 brew I saved and poured into pint glass at cellar temperature.
A: Pours jet black color no light coming through and a thick dark tan head that settles to a layer of bubbles.
S: Full on burnt and chocolate roasted barley aroma with a big layer of dried dark cherries and currants. Some mocha coffee adds to the char and ups the complexity. Some earthy hop notes trickle through and a bit of alcohol on the nose.
T: Very roasty and some bitter coffee and dark chocolate wrestle with the dark, dried fruit of cherries and currants. There are a lot of layers here and as you keep going there is a smokiness that gets into the mix. Some earthy hop notes come to balance some of that intense malt character.
M: Full body and medium carbonation with some alcohol warmth that is welcomed and not too hot.
O: One of the best Harpoon beers I have had and certainly the best Leviathan Series brew I have had yet! It is rich and complex but yet not totally a sipper. The flavors demand more sampling and it is not overly strong or sweet. Loved this beer and found it aged nicely!

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Photo of shand
3.5/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Czernobog is an imperial stout that really offers average by any mean for the style. It pours out black with a small head. The aroma is a slightly oversweetened dark fruit and roast deal. The taste isn't as sweet as the nose, but a big milk chocolate note comes in that works a bit awkwardly with the big roasty finish. The two don't quite play along properly, but it's otherwise tasty. The mouthfeel seems a little light to me, but the drinkability is pretty good. Overall, Czernobog is a decent RIS, but nothing more. Some oddities here and there keep it from greatness.

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Photo of jlindros
3.83/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2012 vintage from this past winter.

Pours a very dark creamy 1/3 finger head that fades at a med pace, a bit of lacing, typical for a 10% RIS, pitch black beer, no light coming through, some decent legs as well.

NOse brings some black malt, some dark roasted malts as well, a little burnt coffee with the burnt roasted malts, faint caramel and cocoa, with all that comes a light fluffy nougat for a nice candy bar effect, a light fusel alcohol, and faint earthy chewy hops.

Taste starts with dark malts again but not as crazy dark roasty as I expected, starting with some burnt roast but not a lot, a little black malt and burnt coffee, it does get a little acrid thanks to those flavors. Some creamy baker's chocolate like a baker's choc cut with milk, and even chewy oats. Again the light fluffy nougat fills it out, with a faint caramel and even faint hint of vanilla like. Bitterness comes out thanks to some bitterness from the earthy chewy hops as well as the light roast bitterness character. Booze is there with some warmth but not a lot, mostly a clean booze. Finish is drier but still sticky sweet, a tingly slightly solventy booze comes out this time, with more very dark bitter chocolate, faint roast and black malt, and earthy chewy hops lingering.

mouth is fuller bodied, some warming and tingly booze, lighter but decent carb, thick and a bit creamy as well as chewy and lush.

Overall not bad, it's not something I would be raving about, but not too bad, the acrid over roasted burnt flavors are there but not too much, decent other malt flavors and decent hops, booze starts OK but get a little much, I bet some age would help this a lot.

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Photo of Flounder57
4.13/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle was poured into a snifter.

Appearance: The beer poured a one finger head that reduced to a thin layer. It is a pitch black color with no clarity, but little bubbles coming up the top of the glass.

Smell: Caramel, chocolate, roasted coffee, smoke, burnt molasses, dark fruits, and toasted malts.

Taste: Very tasty. All of the above with a little booze and espresso in the end. Very nice.

Mouthfeel: Silky smooth, full bodied, low to medium carbonation, and warmed up nicely when beer was let to get close yo room temperature.

Overall: Pretty solid beer. I would buy this one again.

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Photo of yourchoice
4.41/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A - Nearly pitch black with a quickly receding tan head.

S - Rich, plum, figs.

T - more rich character. Figs and plums found in the smell with a slight chocolate and toffee flavor. Also a touch of tobacco. Slightly sour finish which I find pleasing.

M - seems to cover the tongue, being both sweet and slightly sour.

O - I recommend this for any Impy fan. A lot of character.

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Photo of Brad007
4.15/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours the tint of the blackest hole in the bleakest universe. Looks like one mean mother.

Molasses, dark fruit and a touch of chocolate on the nose. Seems balanced in the nose and doesn't automatically hit you a blast of roasted coffee.

After it warms up in the mouth, I get the sensation of toffee, coffee, molasses, cocoa and a touch of cream. The alcohol is there but fades after the first swallow.

Cocoa dominates the mouthfeel with the alcohol warming up the throat. Very filling in a sense.

I like this. I think aging a bottle would really bring out more of the complex flavors without the alcohol warmth.

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Photo of BeerNinja007
4.14/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Single 12oz bottle purchased for $3 at The Beer Store in Nashua, NH. Bottle is stamped with the year, 2012. Served cold in a tulip.

A: A hard pour generates 1/2" of dense brown foam that settles rather quickly without leaving much behind. A small meniscus clings to the edge of the glass. The brew is pitch black and has a cloudy appearance.

S: A fair amount of dark roasty stuff. Very faint aroma of stone fruit, plums. Not much at all going on, but it is still pretty cold. The smell does wake up a bit with warmth, mirroring the taste, but still remains subdued.

T: Really complex and full flavor, much nicer than the subtle smell. The palate is completely covered front to back, side to side, by a large soft seemless wave of black malt, prunes, coffee, cocoa, hints of licorice and mint. The prune really takes charge as the brew warms, I really enjoy this dark fruity aspect. Also with warmth, a sour note develops and quickly becomes quite prominent, like the center of a plum right next to the pit.

M: Moderately thick with a soft and ample carbonation. Finishes dry. No sign of ethanol.

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Photo of YouSkeete
4.54/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Jet black, oily appearance with a very short deep brown colored head. Robust, huge malt and molasses on the initial front of the aroma. Smoked wood, oak, dark chocolate, roasted coffee, and nuts. Colossal punch of chocolate malt, roasted espresso beans and creamy, milky molasses. Smoke and alcohol in the body gives this brew a bourbon-like complexion. Moderate tones of vanilla, cherry and other dark fruits make their way into the overall texture. Creamy, robust mouthfeel with a chocolaty finish.

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Photo of Bierman9
3.89/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Am always up for an Imperial Stout.... so when I saw this at Ayotte's ($10.69 for a 4-pack) I pounced.... Going with two 12oz bottles, and a small tulip...

Poured a deep, dark chestnut, unlike the oily black of some Impys... Head was a creamy, tight layer of mocha-hued froth which thinned quickly to leave a rim job and some scattered islands of foam here and there. Some lace is noted, though not much. Aroma hit me with some coffee and espresso-ish bitter choco. Feel was quite smooth, and body was medium, but not more, unfortunately.

There's a bit of light, malty sweetness at the start, with hints of malted milk balls and ovaltine. Has some cocoa and subtle choco/coffee bitterness, though not a whole lot. Not a lot in the way of noticeable hopping, imo, though it is a little "earthy"; more of a rather basic, chocolatey concoction... No detectable dark fruit, and lacking complexity. Tasty, but....


3.88/5 rDev -4.7%look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75


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Leviathan - Czernobog from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 148 ratings